Rony Alwin is oftentimes associated with his company Rony’s Photobooth, which sets up photo stations at parties all across the world. However, he somewhat secretly has been taking incredible and iconic pictures of uniquely American still-lifes and landscapes all along, which he encounters while road tripping across the States. His crisp and clean photos of American Flags and abandoned typewriters tell unspoken stories that really pull you in and allow you to create your own narratives around them. I, for one, was totally blown away when I stumbled across these on his personal website and can’t wait for him to release some prints. I mean, yes, his other sites are always exciting to check out, but this set of photos mark a maturity that really showcases his talent and eye for the interesting.
Shannon Richardson‘s photographs have a “presented without comment” feel to them, documenting the signage and structures of American countryside with the intent to preserve. In addition to the observational and timeless sights of Texas, Richardson’s book, Route 66 American Icon, is a compilation of scenes from along the historic Route 66 highway.Richardson is an Amarillo, Texas-based photographer.
Photographer Marshall Scheuttle travels across the country, bringing his lens to bear on our nation’s cultural patchwork. In his work, desolate landscapes are occasionally dotted with a baptism or bolo tie, a snake charmer or carnival worker. It is a world that is lonely, powerful, surreal, and distinctly American.
Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond, West Virginia 2004
Massachusetts-born photographer Mitch Epstein has been documenting life in America since the early 1970s. As Rachel Esner says, “much of Mitch Epstein’s work is…a reflection on America, on American values and ideology, on America’s place in the world today. It is the formal and associative elements in Epstein’s images that lift them to a higher plane. These are not documents in the strict sense, because they transcend and reinvent the objects photographed and in the process invest them with symbolic meaning.” Well said, Ms. Esner.
San Francisco-based photographer has a few different ongoing projects, but the one I like the best is the tentatively named “The Inhabited West.” The series consists of aerial photographs parts of the American landscape: “pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, geology, and various aspects of the sublime.” Some interesting points on how we’ve constructed our world around nature, and how the two interact.
I was quite surprised when I found out the work of Canadian artist Ross Racine was completely hand-drawn. While some compositions are more realistic than others, all of them could pass fairly easily as documentary aerial photography of yesteryear, perhaps taken from government planes after the great post-war suburban explosion. Some of his drawings are minimal, some much more complexly textured; all present an interesting fictional view of suburban and rural America.
Interview Project is a new web-based video series presented by David Lynch and created by his son, Austin Lynch, as well as Austin’s friend, Jesse S. Austin, Jesse, and their team took a massive road trip around the US, traveling on back roads and interviewing the people they encountered. Some of the interviews are striking for the crazy stories they have to tell – one man, Tommie Holiday (pictured above), talks about his true love who is in jail for killing an ex-boyfriend. Other people have more ordinary stories, like Clara, who is a mother and grandmother to a perfectly lovely flock of offspring in Colorado. They all, however, have some rather profound things to say about life.
Unfortunately the videos were rather difficult to embed, so you can either see some video stills after the jump or click here to go to the Interview Project site.